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Hello, I’m in desperate need of advice. But before I explain my situation I want to note that everyone is different, and everyone has different views/ values on things. Please be understanding from my view before making comments about me being naive or anything related to that.

 

I have been with my boyfriend for almost four years now, and I explained to him when we first got together my views of certain things and also how I have been sexually abused most of my life growing up. I have values that are very grounded on my Christian religion and also I have lots of pain and trauma dealing with sexual abuse.

For these reasons I made it apparent to my boyfriend that watching porn is hurtful to me, and I do not feel comfortable with him doing it. 
after over three years, I found out he was watching it behind my back, and I feel deeply betrayed and hurt. I acknowledge guys are more sexually driven than girls are and it didn’t mean anything to him other than him wanting to jack off. But I am still hurt that I have been betrayed and my feelings were disregarded. 

however, even though this is a big deal breaker I just can’t bring myself to leave him. I love him so much and I’ve tried being understanding from his point of view which has helped a bit, but everytime I think I’m close to forgiving him, the pain comes back. I don’t know what to do and I feel stuck in the middle. 
he has dealt with me constantly for two months asking him about it and arguing with him about it, he’s told me he has changed and he will never do it again. 

I struggle with trusting him because all the times I asked him, he lied to me about it and I only found out because I caught him one day when I finally searched through his phone. 
 

I understand some people think porn is harmless, but please respect my views and I’m looking for genuine advice on what to do (thinking about it from a perspective that I had already set that boundary and it was broken and regardless of porn being bad or not it was still hurtful to me.)
I know if I can’t forgive him than things will never work and I have to leave, yet my heart can’t let go.

 

I guess I’m asking for advice from either guy or girls perspective on how to move past this or if it’s worth saving this relationship. 
 

Here are things he has done to help me:

Promised to dedicate his life more to God and change 

he told me he knows he will never do it again and he didn’t think I would react this way and that now he knows how hurtful is it’s to me he realizes it was wrong and won’t do it again.

has been putting up with me going on and on about it for almost two months.

 

but what he has done that hurts me;

anytime I mention how hurt I am he immediately gets frustrated with me

pushes me away

 

 

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Sorry this is happening. At some level you know you are incompatible.  Unfortunately you want him to change. It's not about whether porn is right or wrong. It's about whether someone is right or

It's less about the porn as the fact that he has been lying to you for years. That's really the bigger issue here. You were honest with him from the get go, he was dishonest with you from the get go.

- YOU feel betrayed due to YOUR past - and unable to accept what he does.   - YOU are in a lot of pain- so, not in a good place.   - All of this causing stress between you two.

3 hours ago, Dnxnshshjs said:

Promised to dedicate his life more to God and change 

Sorry this is happening. At some level you know you are incompatible. 

Unfortunately you want him to change. It's not about whether porn is right or wrong. It's about whether someone is right or wrong for you.

It would help you to get an evaluation from you a physician about your anxiety, depression and trauma. You also would benefit from supportive ongoing therapy.

Dating is not about converting someone or making them your therapist.

If you dislike the use of pornography, that's fine. But to use your trauma and religion to manipulate people will only push people away.

You need to stand up for yourself and help yourself. You also need to mean what you say and say what you mean without emotional extortion or hiding behind your faith.

In addition to taking better care of yourself, you need to reconsider a relationship that you feel is inappropriate and hurting you.

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8 hours ago, Dnxnshshjs said:

I am still hurt that I have been betrayed and my feelings were disregarded. 

- YOU feel betrayed due to YOUR past - and unable to accept what he does.

 

8 hours ago, Dnxnshshjs said:

I’ve tried being understanding from his point of view which has helped a bit, but everytime I think I’m close to forgiving him, the pain comes back. I don’t know what to do

- YOU are in a lot of pain- so, not in a good place.

 

8 hours ago, Dnxnshshjs said:

he has dealt with me constantly for two months asking him about it and arguing with him about it, he’s told me he has changed and he will never do it again. 

- All of this causing stress between you two.

 

8 hours ago, Dnxnshshjs said:

but what he has done that hurts me;

anytime I mention how hurt I am he immediately gets frustrated with me

pushes me away

- Issues!

Fact is, and you know it,  Yes, some people do enjoy porn now & then and YOU cannot 'change' him.

If he indulges on a little Adult Entertainment on occasion, he is entitled.  And so may the next dude you date.  But the issue is on YOU here.

Your past damages have affected you and made you this way - Have you seeked any professional help?  I highly suggest you look into this and keep at it so you can work through these issue's and hopefully get to a better place, mentally,  Or, this will cause negative effects - and problems like it is now,.

As for if you BU with him?  I do not see you happy at all- but full of problems which is spilling into your relationship.

You need to be on your own for a good while so you can just focus on YOU.  And be better than this- which is a lot of hurt.

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It's less about the porn as the fact that he has been lying to you for years. That's really the bigger issue here. You were honest with him from the get go, he was dishonest with you from the get go. So yes, that kind of betrayal is huge. Once trust is destroyed like that, it's virtually impossible to get it back. Right now you are probably questioning pretty much everything about him.

So where to from here. Unfortunately, you have to make a hard decision. Either you can forgive him AND accept him as he is, porn, lies and all, OR you must break up and move on. What you cannot do is sit on the fence and continue to beat him up about it and demand he become a different person from who he is. If you cannot let this go and get past it, then walk away. Beating him up for 2 months and going is you becoming abusive to him and that is wrong and not what love is.

Btw, you are wholly entitled to your views and opinions, but again, you need to make up your mind and stand firm in either direction. Your pool of dating men might decrease, but your desire to have a partner who is not into that is not all that unreasonable.

That said, be careful about how you word things. Rather than dictating your feelings and demanding compliance, ask questions and be sure that he feels safe to tell you the truth and then decide if his truth is acceptable to you or not. Remember that the fastest way to get people to crave something is to make it forbidden.

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2 hours ago, DancingFool said:

It's less about the porn as the fact that he has been lying to you for years. That's really the bigger issue here. You were honest with him from the get go, he was dishonest with you from the get go. So yes, that kind of betrayal is huge. Once trust is destroyed like that, it's virtually impossible to get it back. Right now you are probably questioning pretty much everything about him.

So where to from here. Unfortunately, you have to make a hard decision. Either you can forgive him AND accept him as he is, porn, lies and all, OR you must break up and move on. What you cannot do is sit on the fence and continue to beat him up about it and demand he become a different person from who he is. If you cannot let this go and get past it, then walk away. Beating him up for 2 months and going is you becoming abusive to him and that is wrong and not what love is.

Btw, you are wholly entitled to your views and opinions, but again, you need to make up your mind and stand firm in either direction. Your pool of dating men might decrease, but your desire to have a partner who is not into that is not all that unreasonable.

That said, be careful about how you word things. Rather than dictating your feelings and demanding compliance, ask questions and be sure that he feels safe to tell you the truth and then decide if his truth is acceptable to you or not. Remember that the fastest way to get people to crave something is to make it forbidden.

If I accept him for all of those things are you saying I have to allow porn in our relationship or accept it as the past and work with him about it?

He has his desire to change and being with me for this many years a lot of things have influences him in a good way. I know he wants to become a better person, he says one of the things he loves the most about me is my values and the way I carry myself, and he deeply has apologized and said they were selfish mistakes.

where you said “demand”, I’m not necessarily demanding it but it was his will and part of his apology to show me he doesn’t want to watch porn. He isn’t telling me things like that all guys or it’s Normal, he wants to be with me more than anything, other than this issue we have had little to no problems, I have never been so close to someone in my life. 

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All of it is a breach of trust - the abuse you went through and the lies from your boyfriend. It's also a breach of trust if you say you've forgiven someone and .. you don't. The healing has to start now. Somehow, some way.

When you say you are hurt, how does this hurt affect your relationship? Are you saying you're finding it difficult to communicate with him? In a bad mood? Negative around him? Aren't able to look at him or speak with him? I'm trying to get a sense of how this has affected both of you. 

If it had been a breach of trust in any other way such as a lie he told you about something else would it have this same impact? Would you have forgiven or forgotten the issue a bit more easily? 

 

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9 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

All of it is a breach of trust - the abuse you went through and the lies from your boyfriend. It's also a breach of trust if you say you've forgiven someone and .. you don't. The healing has to start now. Somehow, some way.

When you say you are hurt, how does this hurt affect your relationship? Are you saying you're finding it difficult to communicate with him? In a bad mood? Negative around him? Aren't able to look at him or speak with him? I'm trying to get a sense of how this has affected both of you. 

If it had been a breach of trust in any other way such as a lie he told you about something else would it have this same impact? Would you have forgiven or forgotten the issue a bit more easily? 

 

When I say hurt, I mean I replay it over and over in my mind in disbelief and I try to see him as the same person and I can’t. 
I feel betrayed and as soon as those thoughts come up I flood him with questions about it over and over and he says I’m driving him crazy. Just the thought of it stabs my heart every single time

he tells me he knows without a doubt he will never do it again, and that he is capable of changing not just because of me but because at the same time this betrayal made him see how much pain he has caused and he says he will never hurt me like this again. He told me to please let go of the past three years if I value the relationship because we have 60+ years in our future that he will make up for it, to please just trust him.

 To be with him I have to just be vulnerable again and let go of what he did but it’s so hard when someone has done it for three years and the only reason you even found out was because of evidence. I asked him over ten times before that trusting his word and he lied each time.

he says he just did not want to hurt me. And that ever since he was little it was just a way to masturbate and that’s all he saw it as but now he sees how damaging it is and he’s told me he won’t.

how can I trust him and let that go fully? Does this sound like a situation I have hope for?

 

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Some of that difficulty looking past this I think has to do with your past. When you say your thoughts come up and you flood him with questions this is you responding to that trauma and the breach of trust in your relationship. It's anxiety.

I also think that being able to understand what he's telling you is part of forgiving. But it doesn't mean that you have to forgive. I think you should keep in mind that you have every right to walk away from this.

I have more questions but they may produce more pain so just a trigger warning. He said he uses it to masturbate to. Do you believe it? Or is the idea that porn is abuse and only abuse entrenched deep in your mind? What is your view on masturbation? Is that also hurtful that he masturbates? How much of what he's saying can you accept or not accept, makes sense or doesn't make sense to you?

Pain is hard to get through and a lot of those signals are fight/flight signals for situations that we perceive as dangerous. You went through a lot as a child in a very dangerous situation being abused. Those fight/flight and pain signals are part of your defense mechanism especially now when confronted again with something that triggers past sexual abuse. 

On top of that is the breach of trust. If you want to keep working through this, I'd address those pain signals and fight/flight and anxious thoughts. I think if you can control them or at least acknowledge what is happening you have a better chance at determining whether you can live past the breach of trust in the relationship and forgive. 

At some point, maybe not today but next week or next month, if you find this really is not going away and you feel too terrible about this relationship or the way things have unfolded, please reserve that right to walk away from this. You do not need to be in a situation that is unhealthy for you or continues to hurt you. I'd look into therapy and counseling for the abuse you've suffered too. 

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2 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

Some of that difficulty looking past this I think has to do with your past. When you say your thoughts come up and you flood him with questions this is you responding to that trauma and the breach of trust in your relationship. It's anxiety.

I also think that being able to understand what he's telling you is part of forgiving. But it doesn't mean that you have to forgive. I think you should keep in mind that you have every right to walk away from this.

I have more questions but they may produce more pain so just a trigger warning. He said he uses it to masturbate to. Do you believe it? Or is the idea that porn is abuse and only abuse entrenched deep in your mind? What is your view on masturbation? Is that also hurtful that he masturbates? How much of what he's saying can you accept or not accept, makes sense or doesn't make sense to you?

Pain is hard to get through and a lot of those signals are fight/flight signals for situations that we perceive as dangerous. You went through a lot as a child in a very dangerous situation being abused. Those fight/flight and pain signals are part of your defense mechanism especially now when confronted again with something that triggers past sexual abuse. 

On top of that is the breach of trust. If you want to keep working through this, I'd address those pain signals and fight/flight and anxious thoughts. I think if you can control them or at least acknowledge what is happening you have a better chance at determining whether you can live past the breach of trust in the relationship and forgive. 

At some point, maybe not today but next week or next month, if you find this really is not going away and you feel too terrible about this relationship or the way things have unfolded, please reserve that right to walk away from this. You do not need to be in a situation that is unhealthy for you or continues to hurt you. I'd look into therapy and counseling for the abuse you've suffered too. 

The idea of masturbation really affected me before in the beginning, but I got over it because I accept I can’t tell anyone what to do or not do with their own body. I also acknowledge that I’m not always gonna be there next to him to “satisfy” him and he’s going to want to masturbate if the chance comes, I am only ok with masturbation, not porn or the idea of someone jacking of or getting sexual pleasure from people outside of our relationship. I have never found other men attractive or been turned on by anyone but him so I have a hard time forgiving.

because porn degrades women and I just can’t stand the thought of him jacking off to other women, my body already feels used and not special as it is. I was saving myself for marriage before I was raped, and I only gave myself to him solely because I trusted him and didn’t think he was like that.
If I had known he was going to use porn even thought he does it rarely (once every few months) I would never have allowed myself to. I don’t think he was trying to hurt me and I know it only took him less than five minutes and he got off of it. If I knew he did it more regularly or chose it over me I would have to leave. 


I stay because I’m trying to be understanding that from a guys view they may see it as harmless and he genuinely didn’t see it as the big deal it was until I found out,

but at the same time I feel like someone who loves me wouldn’t lie to me about that especially when they know my views. I can’t even watch movies with scenes in it because of the triggers it causes me. 
 

I can accept he did it as a child, I can accept most men have done it and there’s nothing I can do to keep it from have happened before, but I cannot accept that while he knew my feelings about it he chose to do it behind my back.

and he wants me to accept it and let us be happy, promising me that it won’t happen again. that he is truly changed and he has told me with all his heart that without a doubt I am the girl he wants to marry, that he doesn’t want to lose me, and that porn is something he may have watched before but if I allow him to show me he has changed instead of carrying on everyday with the questioning that I will actually see it.


The only way I know I could forgive him is only because he said he did it only about ten times in the last three years, which shows me he doesn’t need it regularly or care for it too much, he just got on there when he was horny and wanted to masturbate. If he didn’t get on it that much to start with I think I can trust that he doesn’t necessarily need it and it won’t be hard for him to cut it out of his life.

I just don’t know how to get over it, because it’s a lot for me to find out since it’s been three years, and I don’t know how to trust him again. I’ve been abused so much and lied to so much that it’s just hard. But I know I want to be with him, I can’t picture myself with anyone else. At the same time I feel like that’s everyone’s feelings who is going through a breakup so I don’t know. I just want to get out of this big hold. It has affected my whole life on a day to day basis

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Watching porn isn't just a man-thing so I would not paint a broad brushstroke on this or let the gavel fall so heavily on men alone. There are women who enjoy watching porn. You do have some strong feelings about this but I'd be cautious about victimizing all women by assuming men are the only ones who enjoy it. 

You are right to be wary about whether or not it's an addiction or whether someone you're dating has a dependency on this. Like anything else that's overdone or abused (overused), if it becomes a dependency or a person can't experience sexual intimacy or is limited outside of that use, yes, it becomes an issue. 

Your boyfriend is naturally curious about sex so it's up to him about whether this relationship is too limiting. He's told you that he will stop doing it so you have to either believe it or not believe it, seeing that trust develop or rebuild over time. I don't think you can force this or will that trust to build back up spontaneously and quickly. It takes time to rebuild. I don't think you should do this alone either.

Do you have support from your community for example finding therapy for the sexual abuse? You are a rape survivor. I don't think you should have to hide this or feel shamed. Speak out and find support. Don't let anyone shame you for what you've been through. I am so sorry this happened. Do speak out, speak with someone. 

 

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You seem to be deliberately  ignoring the real problem: lying.  Why is this not a significant factor for you?  Is it because you know that you will have to break it off because you know that you cannot have a future with someone you can't trust and that he has  a major character issue?

No trust= no relationship

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10 minutes ago, Hollyj said:

You seem to be deliberately  ignoring the real problem: lying.  Why is this not a significant factor for you?  Is it because you know that you will have to break it off because you know that you cannot have a future with someone you can't trust and that he has  a major character issue?

No trust= no relationship

Lying is a very significant factor to me. 
if the situation was different and HE confessed to ME what had happened, and that he was genuinely sorry and showed remorse, I feel I would have an easier time forgiving him.

however he chose to keep it from me. But I tried to let the lying not get to me because I can understand he was lying because he knows how sensitive I am to things, and he didn’t want to hurt me or lose me. He was afraid to lose me. He acknowledges now that lying is wrong however you put it and that being honest is always better no matter how bad it is. And that I truly feel like he understands now especially after him having to deal with the consequences of it for two months. 
 

I am working on finding a way I can allow myself to trust him again. I know it won’t come fast or easy, but I know it can happen if I allow it. My problem is that I have a hard time letting things go. Especially when they’re things that not only hurt me but are against my values  and also stab my heart deeper because of the abuse I’ve been through. Both I know I can’t blame my partner for, which is why I’m trying my best to get help. I’ve never been one to get advice online ever.

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15 hours ago, Dnxnshshjs said:

has been putting up with me going on and on about it for almost two months.

I feel betrayed and as soon as those thoughts come up I flood him with questions about it over and over and he says I’m driving him crazy.

anytime I mention how hurt I am he immediately gets frustrated with me

Just remember, eventually everyone's patience wears thin and you WILL lose him.  Just like you are feeling frustrated, he is now also at that point and getting fed-up with you going "on and on and on about it, over and over and over again".    This is an incompatibility issue.  A bad match. Not a match made in heaven and I highly doubt it will work out (sorry).

The only way you can make this work is for you to learn to accept this part of him.  If you can't, then it's best you pack your bags and leave.  There is no other way.  Either accept him, or leave.

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23 minutes ago, Dnxnshshjs said:

Lying is a very significant factor to me. 
if the situation was different and HE confessed to ME what had happened, and that he was genuinely sorry and showed remorse, I feel I would have an easier time forgiving him.

however he chose to keep it from me. But I tried to let the lying not get to me because I can understand he was lying because he knows how sensitive I am to things, and he didn’t want to hurt me or lose me. He was afraid to lose me. He acknowledges now that lying is wrong however you put it and that being honest is always better no matter how bad it is. And that I truly feel like he understands now especially after him having to deal with the consequences of it for two months. 
 

I am working on finding a way I can allow myself to trust him again. I know it won’t come fast or easy, but I know it can happen if I allow it. My problem is that I have a hard time letting things go. Especially when they’re things that not only hurt me but are against my values  and also stab my heart deeper because of the abuse I’ve been through. Both I know I can’t blame my partner for, which is why I’m trying my best to get help. I’ve never been one to get advice online ever.

The lying should be huge.  I don't understand how you think that you can have a future with someone who repeatedly lies to you?  You are focusing on the wrong thing!

You aren't compatible.  There are men who aren't into porn.  

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I agree with the others that are mentioning the hiding and lying are major issues in the relationship.  

But I wonder if you don't have some work to do on yourself.  The problem, as you see it, is a betrayal and a deal breaker, but you are unable to walk away.  

Why aren't you able to walk away? Yet you are unable to forgive?  Could you be placing old hurts and wounds from your past trauma on him?  I am not saying lying is something you have to accept.  But it is unfair to hold something over someone.  If you can't forgive and this is a deal breaker you should end things with the guy.  

It's like you want him to suffer.  Does it feel good to be on the morale high ground, bringing it up, making him feel bad? 

What's he supposed to do?  Turn back time?  From what you wrote, he seems to have genuinely apologized.  He admits he did not know this would hurt you so much and he won't do it again.  I don't know what more he could do.  

All relationships are a risk and giving someone a 2nd chance is a risk.  You have to decide for yourself if he is worthy of that chance and if you are willing to risk it.  I don't know the answer to that.  But what I do know is, people make mistakes.  We all do.  We all fall short sometimes.  But long relationships last not because both people are so perfect, but because they find a way to forgive each other and put in the work.  

You can definitely find a guy that is not into porn.  And you are entitled to whatever deal breakers that work for you.  But I don't think it's right to hold something over someone, especially, someone you supposedly love.  If you can't forgive, end it. 

Edited by Lambert
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3 hours ago, Dnxnshshjs said:

 

how can I trust him and let that go fully? Does this sound like a situation I have hope for?

 

How do you trust him?  It's a choice. 

You weigh the arguments against his word and decide if it's something you can do.  Then you put your mind to it and do it.   He works on maintaining that trust and you work on not letting it affect the relationship and you don't allow the negative thoughts to run the show.

Thoughts proceed feelings.  

If you just can't do it, then you have your answer.  

One thing you can't do is stay on these terms and continue to hold it against him and poison the relationship.  You wouldn't be doing either of you any favors.

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9 minutes ago, Lambert said:

I agree with the others that are mentioning the hiding and lying are major issues in the relationship.  

But I wonder if you don't have some work to do on yourself.  The problem, as you see it, is a betrayal and a deal breaker, but you are unable to walk away.  

Why aren't you able to walk away? Yet you are unable to forgive?  Could you be placing old hurts and wounds from your past trauma on him?  I am not saying lying is something you have to accept.  But it is unfair to hold something over someone.  If you can't forgive and this is a deal breaker you should end things with the guy.  

It's like you want him to suffer.  Does it feel good to be on the morale high ground, bringing it up, making him feel bad? 

What's he supposed to do?  Turn back time?  From what you wrote, he seems to have genuinely apologized.  He admits he did not know this would hurt you so much and he won't do it again.  I don't know what more he could do.  

All relationships are a risk and giving someone a 2nd chance is a risk.  You have to decide for yourself if he is worthy of that chance and if you are willing to risk it.  I don't know the answer to that.  But what I do know is, people make mistakes.  We all do.  We all fall short sometimes.  But long relationships last not because both people are so perfect, but because they find a way to forgive each other and put in the work.  

You can definitely find a guy that is not into porn.  And you are entitled to whatever deal breakers that work for you.  But I don't think it's right to hold something over someone, especially, someone you supposedly love.  If you can't forgive, end it. 

Thank you.

how can I determine if this can ever be forgiven?

I know my wounds are still fresh, 

there was a point where I was finally making progress and things were getting better but due to issues i think things got worse again.

how do I know in my heart which one ? How do I accept either his lies and values aren’t the same and I need to move on or if this is worth moving forward with?

he has never disrespected me any other way, never been abusive or showed any signs of him being a bad person other than that. I’m afraid losing him I won’t be able to find someone else who I love this much and who loves me this much , we both have had trouble leaving eachother because we are just both so attached and we can’t see ourselves without one another 

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1 minute ago, reinventmyself said:

How do you trust him?  It's a choice. 

You weigh the arguments against his word and decide if it's something you can do.  Then you put your mind to it and do it.   He works on maintaining that trust and you work on not letting it affect the relationship and you don't allow the negative thoughts to run the show.

Thoughts proceed feelings.  

If you just can't do it, then you have your answer.  

One thing you can't do is stay on these terms and continue to hold it against him and poison the relationship.  You wouldn't be doing either of you any favors.

I know which is why I’m trying to figure out what to do now because I can’t keep dragging this out any longer

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How long ago was the lie discovered?   Because if it's only been days then you are entitled sometime to get your balance back.  No one expects you to act like nothing happened immediately after.

If it's very recent, just give yourself sometime to sort things out. . .but don't drag it out.

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6 minutes ago, Dnxnshshjs said:

I know my wounds are still fresh, 

there was a point where I was finally making progress and things were getting better but due to issues i think things got worse again.

Have you ever sought professional counselling/therapy?  If not, why not?  I think you would benefit greatly from getting help for all of your issues. 

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 . .just reread it's been two months.  This isn't recent and you are still stuck where you were to begin with.

You gather yourself up and decide to either get off the fence or get out of the game.   This is making you miserable.

Edited by reinventmyself
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3 minutes ago, Dnxnshshjs said:

Thank you.

how can I determine if this can ever be forgiven?

I know my wounds are still fresh, 

there was a point where I was finally making progress and things were getting better but due to issues i think things got worse again.

how do I know in my heart which one ? How do I accept either his lies and values aren’t the same and I need to move on or if this is worth moving forward with?

he has never disrespected me any other way, never been abusive or showed any signs of him being a bad person other than that. I’m afraid losing him I won’t be able to find someone else who I love this much and who loves me this much , we both have had trouble leaving eachother because we are just both so attached and we can’t see ourselves without one another 

This is why it's hard to be in a relationship when you are not whole on your own.  You not only don't trust him.  you don't trust yourself.  If you did, you would know yourself and know what you can and can't handle.  

you list many good qualities.  Maybe you could make a pro and con list.  I think most people when they are making a decision to end a relationship, do struggle with the fear of the unknown.  This is also where trusting yourself and being whole on your own comes into play.  

It's also unhealthy if you both can't see each other without each other.  It shouldn't be that you can't be without someone, you don't WANT to be without someone.  When you feel that "want" over "can't", there is no question. To want but not need, is healthy & can walk away at any time-- even though it's hard and it still hurts.  

You know you are in a very unhealthy situation.  You have your own issues to work through and this relationship does not support a healthier version of you.  Sometimes when you making a decision to be with someone, it's about finding someone that is not only good to you, but good for you.  You can love someone to pieces but they might not be good for you.  They bring out the worst in you.  They may cause unsettling, unhappy, unpeaceful feelings-- anger, fear, loneliness..... 

What was happening and why were you able to feel like you were making progress?  What issues caused you to regress? 

Could you be more comfortable being unhealthy?  being the one in the relationship that is weaker. do you use that to get your way or to get him to act a certain way? 

As humans, we're funny.  We prefer what we are used to over change.  Even if the change is better.  you could be stuck in cycle.  And until you break free, heal yourself, learn to love yourself, trust yourself, forgive yourself, you're really not a great partner.  And I don't mean that to hurt your feelings... It's a harsh fact.  

There are so many limiting factors to your post.  And it can seem overwhelming and why your struggling.  But if you started working on yourself for yourself, a lot of these things would solve themselves.  Things become much more clear and much easier when you are healthy  and whole on your own.  

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16 minutes ago, Lambert said:

This is why it's hard to be in a relationship when you are not whole on your own.  You not only don't trust him.  you don't trust yourself.  If you did, you would know yourself and know what you can and can't handle.  

you list many good qualities.  Maybe you could make a pro and con list.  I think most people when they are making a decision to end a relationship, do struggle with the fear of the unknown.  This is also where trusting yourself and being whole on your own comes into play.  

It's also unhealthy if you both can't see each other without each other.  It shouldn't be that you can't be without someone, you don't WANT to be without someone.  When you feel that "want" over "can't", there is no question. To want but not need, is healthy & can walk away at any time-- even though it's hard and it still hurts.  

You know you are in a very unhealthy situation.  You have your own issues to work through and this relationship does not support a healthier version of you.  Sometimes when you making a decision to be with someone, it's about finding someone that is not only good to you, but good for you.  You can love someone to pieces but they might not be good for you.  They bring out the worst in you.  They may cause unsettling, unhappy, unpeaceful feelings-- anger, fear, loneliness..... 

What was happening and why were you able to feel like you were making progress?  What issues caused you to regress? 

Could you be more comfortable being unhealthy?  being the one in the relationship that is weaker. do you use that to get your way or to get him to act a certain way? 

As humans, we're funny.  We prefer what we are used to over change.  Even if the change is better.  you could be stuck in cycle.  And until you break free, heal yourself, learn to love yourself, trust yourself, forgive yourself, you're really not a great partner.  And I don't mean that to hurt your feelings... It's a harsh fact.  

There are so many limiting factors to your post.  And it can seem overwhelming and why your struggling.  But if you started working on yourself for yourself, a lot of these things would solve themselves.  Things become much more clear and much easier when you are healthy  and whole on your own.  

Things were ok for a while I started putting my energy toward God and forgiving that what he did was a sin common to man and that it wasn’t longer than five minutes and I tried to remember that those images he saw are no longer in his mind,

when I found out what he did he told me it had already been like 8 months that he made the conscious decision to stop, and he had already been without it by the time I found out. I focused on these positive things and that these three years can be made up for the entire future that is to come, he promised me without a doubt he wouldn’t do it again.

my issue is trusting he will follow through with that and accepting that he’s willing to change because if he’s only doing it for me, it’s unhealthy like you said you can’t change somebody you have to love them as they are. And the fact that he is telling me he already stopped before I even found out and that he has no interest in it anymore, gives me hope.

ultimately it’s my fault at this point for not being able to let go and allow him to fulfil those promises. 
 

the issue that caused me to regress is because I live in Texas and there was a big snow storm that made our power go out and I went a long time without seeing him and sometimes without talking to him, and I let the thoughts get to me and al the negative ones flooded the positive ones that I was holding on to. Being stuck at home alone just got to me and I realized I hadn’t truly forgiven him. The thoughts of betrayal and knowing he was capable of hurting me in this way. 

I reached a healthy point with him at one point so I know I’m capable of it but I realized unless I truly 100% let go of what he did I can’t put us through this any longer.

 

It’s crazy how you day that because the reason we “can’t” be without eachother is because we literally brought eachother out of dark places, he was experiencing losing his mom to cancer and I was dealing with trauma of being raped at the time. I recognize that’s not the healthiest time to get in a relationship but it brought us both up and we literally lifted eachother up, we went to college and because of me he works for my dad and has a well paying job and can support his family (he has an elderly dad and his mom is gone)

and I finished college and started my own business as well. We have very much been good for eachother. I guess for any normal person two months is well enough time to forgive and be ok, but for me it’s not because sexual things hit me much deeper. But I’m trying my best to accept it. He told me if I love him, my love for him should allow myself to accept it and overcome it, that if I love us and value this relationship I won’t choose to let go, to be strong and have faith because he has truly changed his perspective on things. He says he doesn’t view porn the way he did and he sees how it could damage trust and ruin relationships, that he doesn’t care about it.

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